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Penn State alumni group critical of NCAA sanctions, Freeh Report - abc27 WHTM

Penn State alumni group critical of NCAA sanctions, Freeh Report

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

A Penn State alumni watchdog group that has been highly critical of the board of trustees said it is exploring legal recourse following the university's acceptance of NCAA sanctions.

In a news release Thursday, Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship said they have serious concerns as to why the university and the NCAA based their decisions on the Freeh Report, which the group called "wholly incomplete" and "insufficient."

The NCAA, the governing body of college sports, on Monday imposed a $60 million fine and a four-year bowl game ban, cut the number of football scholarships, and took away 111 wins under former coach Joe Paterno.

A spokesman for Penn State president Rodney Erickson, who agreed to the sanctions, said Wednesday that the university faced a possible four-year ban on playing football, and NCAA president Mark Emmert said this week that other penalties would have come with a total football ban.

Emmert has also said that he relied on the report by former FBI director and federal judge Louis Freeh, who concluded that Paterno and three top university officials for years concealed child sexual abuse allegations against former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky to protect Penn State and its football program.

Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship in its news release said Freeh and his team, among other things, did not speak to Paterno, even though the former coach offered to be interviewed, or any of the key witnesses in the Sandusky case.

"While we have no doubt that Mr. Freeh and his team sought to follow the directives set by certain members of the Board of Trustees, upon our review of the report it is clear that it is completely deficient," said Robert Tribeck, a labor and employment attorney and member of the alumni watchdog group. "What the Freeh report provides is a highly flawed, factually insufficient representation of Mr. Freeh's view about what happened – and not the truth."

The alumni group said Penn State and the NCAA have taken actions seemingly by reading only the summary of conclusions, not the full content, and have failed to question the report's evidentiary basis or lack thereof.

 

The Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship "Guide to the Freeh Report" can be found at the following link: http://www.ps4rs.org/docs/press-release_07-26-12%20questions1.pdf

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